Piano master Tom McDermott takes up limerick writing

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Tom McDermott has been playing piano in New Orleans since he moved here from his native St. Louis in the 1980s.

McDermott has built an international reputation as a versatile and incredibly talented piano master, but lately he has been branching out in an unlikely direction – writing limericks.

A somewhat archaic form of poetry, limericks are defined as humorous and frequently bawdy verses made up of three long and two short rhyming lines. The format was popularized by Edward Lear.

You have probably heard a joke that starts with “There once was a man from Nantucket…” and devolves into many different variations. That’s the basic structure of a limerick.

McDermott’s verses are usually quite a bit less filthy, and always drawn from his own life and experiences. He usually accompanies his limerick posts with associated hand-drawn illustrations, a skill he picked up in art school years ago but hasn’t put to much use until now.

McDermott started posting limericks to Facebook in March of 2016, and quickly developed a following on social media.

That steady flow of “likes” has turned into a book deal from an independent press in New Jersey.

McDermott recently sat down in the News with a Twist studio to talk about his limerick project and give us a sample of his amazing piano skills.

“A piano player named Tom, wrote in his notebook…”


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